Obama Writes Off Florida and Ohio: Concedes Must Win Some Republican States [Reader Post]

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So much for the 50 State Strategy, announced just one week ago. The Obama camp spins this as outlining several different paths to victory, but it sure looks like they are already on Plan B.

In a private pitch late last week to donors and former supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe outlined several alternatives to reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House that runs counter to the conventional wisdom of recent elections.

At a fundraiser held at a Washington brewery Friday, Plouffe told a largely young crowd that the electoral map would be fundamentally different from the one in 2004. Wins in Ohio and Florida would guarantee Obama the presidency if he holds onto the states won by Democrat John Kerry, Plouffe said, but those two battlegrounds aren’t required for victory.

Florida, which has 27 electoral votes this year, gave the presidency to George W. Bush in the disputed election of 2000. Ohio, with its 20 electoral votes, ensured Bush of re-election in 2004 in his race against Kerry. Neither state was hospitable to Obama this year. Clinton handily won in Ohio and she prevailed in Florida although the national party had punished the state and the candidates didn’t campaign there.

Have the bitter clingers in Ohio and the Israel-loving Jews in Florida found something to dislike about Obama?

But George W. Bush won Florida and Ohio in 2000 and in 2004, so Obama starts by looking at the states Kerry won in 2004 and looks for pick-ups. But Obama’s guys see trouble even with those states, with McCain looking tough to beat in three of them.

The presumed Democratic nominee’s electoral math counts on holding onto the states Kerry won, among them Michigan (17 electoral votes), where Obama campaigns on Monday and Tuesday. Plouffe said most of the Kerry states should be reliable for Obama, but three currently look relatively competitive with Republican rival John McCain — Pennsylvania, Michigan and particularly New Hampshire.

Plouffe’s assessment isn’t exactly oozing confidence. Most Kerry states should be reliable? Sounds like they are trying to make it back to Kerry’s states and they are having trouble with the math.

So they will have to go after the Leaning-Republican states.

Plouffe and his aides are weighing where to contest, and where chances are too slim to marshal a large effort. A win in Virginia (13 electoral votes) or Georgia (15 votes) could give Obama a shot if he, like Kerry, loses Ohio or Florida.

Plouffe also has been touting Obama’s appeal in once Republican-leaning states where Democrats have made gains in recent gubernatorial and congressional races, such as Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Alaska and North Dakota.

Even if Obama were to win Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, a feat not achieved by a Democrat since 1964, if he loses Pennsylvania (21), they still under the gun. Add to McCain’s column Michigan (17) and New Hampshire (4), and Obama is in deep trouble.

One could argue Obama is lowering expectations, but frankly Plouffe is conceding that Obama may be the underdog in this Year of the Democrat.

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They say one thing and do another.

Puts out the word that Fl is a throw away and Obama has his first north Florida appearance coming up soon.

Plus he just appointed a new up and coming hot shot to his Fl campaign name Steve Schale.

Word is he will try to turn Va, Ga , Co and maybe Ut and give up Nh where Hill beat him and Mc has got some strength.

Obama had his hat handed to him in the Fl primary. Simply the groups that are is backers are not here in this state due to its makeup. Most Dems are Hillary types here and he would have a long way to go to pull Fl out of the fire.

Nov will come down to FL, OH, and PA.

Whoever gets two of those three, gets the WH.

I hope it’s not that close. I believe that Oshamassiah is going to take a beating, even with John McCain do his best to toss the election away. John please listen! STFU for 5 minutes will you, and allow those who are on the fence about you to come around.

gosh i miss tim russert and his dry erase board. he would have all of this down pat and all of the variables. it seems that obama only cares about winning and doeasn’t give a crap about this country. he IS all about change, changing his mind and beliefs as the mood and crowd suits him. what a load.

The real issue is not how well Obama or McCain might do in the closely divided battleground states, but that we shouldn’t have battleground states and spectator states in the first place. Every vote in every state should be politically relevant in a presidential election. And, every vote should be equal. We should have a national popular vote for President in which the White House goes to the candidate who gets the most popular votes in all 50 states.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral vote — that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule which awards all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state. Because of this rule, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. Two-thirds of the visits and money are focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people are merely spectators to the presidential election.

Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 18 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

Vegas odds are still heavily favoring Obama. On the Intrade political futures board Obama is at currently at a one month high, McCain at a one month low.
http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/contractSearch/

Hmmm … writing off states this soon.

Obama’s Plan B has some problems as well. Here in Colorado, for example, it has reliably voted Republican for president since 1964. (The 1992 result is the aberration when Perot siphoned off enough Republican votes allowing Clinton to carry the state though receiving only 40% of total votes cast. If there was no Perot candidacy, Bush 41 would have clearly carried the state.) Supposedly, Obama is doing well in Colorado … the state has only been polled a few times (and each time with a small sample of 500) and mostly in the Denver Metro, which always lean Democrat. Through the years, Colorado has had Democratic governors (Lamm – 2 terms, Romer – 3 terms, Ritter – current) and Republican governors (Love – 2 years, Vanderhoof – finishing Love’s 3rd term, Owens – 2 terms). The Legislature, mostly Republican led until 2002 (split) and becoming Democrat led in 2004. Clearly, what happens at the state level hasn’t translated to the presidential level. If Colorado is part of Obama’s plan, he would have lots of work to do.

With regard to Utah (comment #1), Obama stands no chance. As for NM, it went to Gore in 2000 basically on widespread election fraud and Bush won in 2004 despite the same election fraud efforts. In NV, Bush carried in 2000 and 2004. The 2004 results were much narrower due to election fraud in certain precincts (total number of votes exceeded the population).

“Vegas odds are still heavily favoring Obama. On the Intrade political futures board Obama is at currently at a one month high, McCain at a one month low.
http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/contractSearch/

Smart or sharp money never bets this early. Intrade is reliable come October. Obama is going to be wiped out in November. Watch for a last minute smear on McCain in early October to tighten things up a bit but mcCain will still win handily. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota and NH are going red. Obama is not going to take Georgia or Virginia…no way, no how.